1. must lock our bikes everywhere
2. there are far more security guards around
3. women don't feel safer on the streets at night
4. kids can't walk around by themselves, they must go on scheduled playdates
The Tories have glommed onto a feeling of uneasiness that most feel is true. Without a definitive answer to this question, it becomes political. What this may mean is that
1. we have too many immigrants
2. we resent our politicians from not taking a stand
3. the media incritically accepts academic studies and ignores facts on the ground
Getting to bottom of crime stats - thestar.com
Getting to bottom of crime stats
Re: Experts call crime rate study ‘embarrassing,’ Feb. 14
Whether Scott Newark’s study is “highly politicized” and without “statistical merit,” I am not in a position to judge. But surely it is misleading for the media and Statistics Canada to report that crime is going up or down given that they use only or mainly crimes known to the police that result in convictions.
As distinguished criminologists never tire of pointing out, crime statistics merely show “the tip of an iceberg.” What use is it to me to know that the “average” number of crimes is being referred to? What citizens want to know are the differential rates of crime within and between provinces, not the average for all provinces. It is the crime rates in their immediate and surrounding areas that are of great concern.
An official report of low crime is used glowingly by politicians to tout their party’s policies and to assuage the anxiety of citizens. Such a report is not necessarily suggestive of collusion. However, given Canada’s reputation for bureaucratic misdemeanors, a cynic might indeed suggest that it was.
It is surely not very meaningful to report that in the case of X, charged with multiple related crimes and convicted of only the most serious one, only one crime has been committed. X has been found guilty of only one crime; but other crimes were committed. Would X have been found guilty on the other related crimes? Maybe not, maybe yes. Using a conviction as the only evidence of the commission of a crime clearly minimizes the extent of crime. The recent G20 is a case in point.
Moreover, whether a crime is reported to the police depends on the victim‘s awareness of the crime as well as the ability and willingness to prosecute, and willingness to prosecute depends on whether there is faith in the fairness or efficiency of the justice system — which many citizens seemingly do not have. Police statistics are thus an imperfect mirror of crime, and should be used with caution by Statistics Canada.
Given that crime data depends on the concept of crime used as well as the procedures used to collate and report it, it follows necessarily that our explanations of crime data will be influenced by the assumptions implicit in the entire process.
Scott Newark’s study might not have met the strict standards of academic research, but does that necessarily undermine the validity of all his points?
Kenneth Aquan-Assee, Oakville